The Flickers: Winning

WINNING (1969)

Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Robert Wagner and Richard Thomas

In the wake of seeing Tarantino’s Hollywood movie three times in the theatre, I began to explore films released in 1969. Stumbled on some good ones and some bad. The best one so far is Winning, starring Paul and Joanne.

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I found it much better than McQueen’s LeMans which admittedly is more documentary style. Winning has that great late ’60’s look and it provides great images of Indianapolis Motor Speedway circa 1968 – most of the footage used is of the ’68 Indianapolis 500. Newman, as always, looks great. Joanne displays her classy, mature beauty and RJ is dressed sharp. “John-Boy” Richard Thomas makes his film debut playing Joanne’s son.  Winning 3 The story is intriguing and deals with some family drama, infidelity and redemption. It’s really well done, I thought although my man, Quentin apparently does not agree. “I’d rater saw my fingers off than sit through (Winning) again”, he has said. I was surprised to find myself captivated. Perhaps if you are heavy into the Indy, all the family stuff in the story distracts you from the roaring engines. But for me it’s a great mix; not all family drama but not all LeMans, either. And to my eye, the racing scenes are shot well.Winning 2This film is produced by Newman’s company so I’m assuming he chose director James Goldstone, who does fine, I think, but after this he basically dropped off the face.Winning 4Listen to noted pianist and composer Dave Grusin’s score. Dave also scored another film featured in our Cinema ’69 series, Generation. Newman’s work on Winning marks the origin of his interest in racing. Later he would launch the very successful Newman/Haas Racing team.Winning 5If you’re looking to buy Winning, I see it cheap on Amazon. If you want to test drive it first, check it out here

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